Grainfather connect - new control unit

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bryanferry
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Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by bryanferry » Mon May 23, 2016 9:04 am

Seems Grainfather are upgrading their control box. Got this email from them last night. Having finally bought one in the last couple of months, I will be very interested to see what the price is.

Image
Beta Launch
We are first sending out a small amount of of beta units, which we are having tested by people in New Zealand first. Due to the location of our head office and the practicality of conducting this beta launch, we are not able to extend this outside of New Zealand.

The beta launch will be happening at the end of the month/beginning of June 2016. Those involved will be required to buy the unit and help us with testing and feedback.

The control boxes will be available for purchase separately (for those who would like to upgrade) and will be included in Grainfathers being sold in stores and online. This is estimated to happen around October 2016. We will update you with any news or changes on that timing as we hear it.

What if I buy a Grainfather now?
The Grainfathers that are currently being sold will be compatible with this new control box. The price of the control box + what you paid for your Grainfather will be roughly the same price as the Grainfathers that will be sold later in the year with control boxes. So basically if you order now and upgrade later - you don't have to wait to brew and make delicious beer in the meantime!

Features & Specs:
Control Box FaceComplete control over the heater power using a modified PID algorithm, gives more accurate temperature control and removes the need for the Element Variation Switch. No longer is the element simply on or off.

A Bluetooth connection between your device and the new control box allows the unit to be controlled from your device, and give you updates to your device while still allowing complete manual control on the system itself. Our new auto mode uses this Bluetooth connection to automate the control of the Grainfather, making brewing a breeze.

New simple user friendly design - screen/buttons.
Water resistant face (no cover anymore).
Fits all Grainfathers currently on the market (attachment lugs can be moved to suit), and you can swap between Celsius & Fahrenheit as desired.
FV1 Brewers Barn Red Setter kit
Corny Keg 1 Brewers Barn Top Hat Black IPA kit
Corny Keg 2 Brewers Barn why rye IPA kit
Bottles Brewers Barn Humber Doucy AG kit

Planning: - Selling up E-keggle and spare equipment.

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GAZ9053
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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by GAZ9053 » Tue May 24, 2016 8:50 pm

Looks interesting

Fil
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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Fil » Tue May 24, 2016 9:24 pm

Another controller option would be Good. As is the current options are:

1) live with it,
2) the stc1000 hack one pot controller https://github.com/matsstaff/stc1000p/b ... /README.md
3) the ardbir or a leal controller both based on the matho build well documented in Jabbas brewery programming thread. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=49714&p=522772&hili ... ng#p524667

Beyond a friendly interface for entering and perhaps storring brewday parameters i cant see much benefit from a B/tooth link, but lets see what they have to offer and at what price point??
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

Dave S
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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Dave S » Sat May 28, 2016 11:22 am

Apart from the Bluetooth aspect, and I can't see any particular advantage of having that, (bit of a gimmick), the email doesn't indicate any real increase in functionality. I have recently installed a flashed STC-1000 in mine which provides much increased automation. Only used it once but is looking pretty good so far. I'm about to add a SSR to enable the firmware to control the pump as well.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Hairybiker » Sat May 28, 2016 5:21 pm

I have all the bits (bar a case, coming from CH) to build an ardbir type, there is some nice code out there based on it, but adding bluetooth with wifi to come. Brewmanic
Have had it running on bread board with a nano.

The new controller needs to have a good price break, if it is up near £100 then it will not be on my shopping list.
Brewing (and loving it) on a Grainfather.
Happy Linux Mint User.

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Andy
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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Andy » Sat May 28, 2016 7:44 pm

Yeah, Vito's Brewmaniac is great. I've got my own customised fork of his codebase and have brewed successfully using it.

As you mention, he's currently adding WiFi comms and ditching the BT. His plan is to keep the main code on Arduino and add an ESP8266 for the Wifi aspects.

I have a plan to drop the Arduino and implement the whole thing on ESP8266.
Dan!

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by sladeywadey » Sun May 29, 2016 7:49 am

I've had the stc1000 controller on my gf for a year now and it gives me all the control i need, as well as being easy to implement. I will not be buying the new gf controller.

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Dave S » Sun May 29, 2016 10:09 am

sladeywadey wrote:I've had the stc1000 controller on my gf for a year now and it gives me all the control i need, as well as being easy to implement. I will not be buying the new gf controller.
Almost certainly ditto. Are you using the firmware to control the pump too? I'll be adding that functionality to mine during the week.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by sladeywadey » Sun May 29, 2016 6:08 pm

Dave S wrote:
sladeywadey wrote:I've had the stc1000 controller on my gf for a year now and it gives me all the control i need, as well as being easy to implement. I will not be buying the new gf controller.
Almost certainly ditto. Are you using the firmware to control the pump too? I'll be adding that functionality to mine during the week.
No but I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this/when it would be used and how you are housing the SSR etc.

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Dave S » Sun May 29, 2016 7:00 pm

sladeywadey wrote:
Dave S wrote:
sladeywadey wrote:I've had the stc1000 controller on my gf for a year now and it gives me all the control i need, as well as being easy to implement. I will not be buying the new gf controller.
Almost certainly ditto. Are you using the firmware to control the pump too? I'll be adding that functionality to mine during the week.
No but I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this/when it would be used and how you are housing the SSR etc.
You can have the pump switched on or off during any stage except the boil. I have a 2A SSR on a PCB, (cost under £3) that is small enough to easily tuck into the control box, I hope :D . Will post back on the outcome later in the week.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by sladeywadey » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:11 pm

How did you get on with this?

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Dave S » Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:06 pm

Sorry, haven't done it yet. I was intending to get it done for a proposed brew this week past, but I've had to put it off until the coming week, probably Thursday or Friday. Will let you know.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Dave S » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:08 pm

Well, I did the mod in order to run the pump under program control and, guess what! it didn't work :twisted: . To be fair it was such a PITA of a job, especially reaching the relevant terminals for soldering without melting components nearby, and squeezing the SSR into the box that it's quite likely I've pulled one of the wires off again putting it all back together. Suffice it to say by the time I switched it on to test I was loosing the will to live. So brew day tomorrow and I'll be doing it with pump in manual mode. Might have another look some time in the future but to be honest there are things about having the pump manually operated that I quite like. Not least when emptying the GF and you don't want the program running, say after a clean.
Best wishes

Dave

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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Fil » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:20 am

Having just stuffed my stc1000 into the g/f's control box i understand the frustrations, i managed to kick the bowl containing the closing screws for six and loose the screws after finally cramming the slightly larger stc1000 into the box.

When you have recovered the calm enough to face the task again, adding a switch to overide programed pump control should only involve an extra +ve voltage line broken with a switch to the +ve drive terminal of the ssr, being dc, it wont require thick wire so you can afford a bit spare length to make the cramming in a tad easier, also it may help to unscrew the power terminals from the box bottom??
ist update for months n months..
Fermnting: not a lot..
Conditioning: nowt
Maturing: Challenger smash, and a kit lager
Drinking: dry one minikeg left in the store
Coming Soon Lots planned for the near future nowt for the immediate :(

Dave S
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Posts: 2656
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:38 pm
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Re: Grainfather connect - new control unit

Post by Dave S » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:22 am

Aye, might have another look prior to next brew day.
Best wishes

Dave

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